When most people think about cancer treatment, chemotherapy often comes to mind. Contrary to popular belief, chemotherapy and radiation are not the same thing; chemotherapy is most often used as a systemic treatment that combats cancer throughout the body, while radiation is considered a localized treatment. If you seek cancer treatment at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we’ll answer all your chemotherapy questions and help you determine whether it’s the best treatment for you.
Technically, chemotherapy is the use of any sort of drug to treat a disease. However, it most commonly refers to cancer treatment. There are over 100 kinds of chemotherapy available, each of which is formulated to prevent cancer from spreading, kill cancer cells, or at least alleviate symptoms associated with cancer. Chemotherapy can be a patient’s sole cancer treatment or be used in combination with surgery or radiation.
How Chemotherapy Works
If cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, there’s a good chance it will have spread beyond the point of initial development. Once cancer spreads, localized treatments such as radiation or surgery are ineffective. Chemotherapy can be administered orally or intravenously, and is designed to attack cancer cells throughout the body. Once chemotherapy sufficiently shrinks the cancer, the remaining cancer cells may be eliminated via radiation or surgery.
Potential Side Effects
Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not exclusively attack cancer cells. Healthy, normal cells may also become damaged during treatment. Though healthy cells can repair themselves, most people still experience side effects from chemotherapy, including nausea, hair loss, and fatigue. The severity of side effects depends on the type of chemotherapy being administered, the type of cancer being treated, the health of the patient, and many other factors.
Don’t let the potential side effects of chemotherapy prevent you from considering it as a viable cancer treatment option. To learn more about chemotherapy, call Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point at (888) 741-5119. We provide our Hudson patients with chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.